Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R5,000.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 0 | Amount of People in Need: 77
That the number of seniors Uvuko Elderly Organization helps has grown from 0 to nearly 80 in the year or so that they have been active, speaks of two things:
The dire need that South Africa’s elderly have for a place to keep them active and engaged, and provide a refuge from isolating or abusive home lives; and
The genuine love and care that Nokzola Funela and her team have for them.
The organization was started in November of 2017 by Nokzola, who was by that stage sickened by the numerous instances of elder abuse and rape in her area. Scenery Park is an informal settlement of about 19,300 people in the Eastern Cape, and here – like in most of the country – it is the norm for the elderly to fall in between the cracks while the young struggle to build lives for themselves.
Many of the elderly people who are helped by Uvuko, for example, use their tiny SASSA grants to care for their entire families, and are often thrust back into parental roles when their children leave their own children with their parents to raise.
Uvuko Elderly Organization’s team of 13 caregivers spend three days a week with their 77 beneficiaries. Tuesday is sports day, when they all gather on the local sports field to play Netball. For them to stay active, Nokzola says, is of the utmost importance, as most of them have no access to health care.
Wednesdays are for crafts, for which they come together in the town hall and create colourful bags and necklaces galore, whereby a bit of their personal darkness is silenced for a few hours in the act of creating tiny beautiful things. Friday is for Bible study, or spiritual nourishment, as the team likes to think of it.
These three days a week are bright lights at the end of 77 dark tunnels, and it is Nokzola’s biggest wish to be able to continue to be of service to Scenery Park’s seniors the best way she knows how. With no financial assistance from any avenue, every single expense is paid for by the 13 volunteers’ own means. This isn’t sustainable, and they need help to cover the +/- R2,000 expenses they incur monthly.
Nokzola also dreams of building Uvoko its own centre, which might lend a bit more stability to the lives of Uvuko’s beneficiaries.
Photographer: N/A | Voice Artist: Esona Mangcaka | Writer: Ané Breytenbach
Type of Cause:Elderly, Skills Development